Doerun P. D. gets state investigative training - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Doerun P. D. gets state investigative training

By Jay Polk - bio | email

Doerun, GA (WALB) – Many small town police departments in south Georgia have only a few officers, but they still need to be prepared to investigate complex cases just like big city officers. Friday, officers in one small department got a lesson in how to handle a crime scene.

Doerun, Georgia is not a big place. It has a population of less than 1000 people. With such a small town, it's no surprise that the police department is small too. How many officers do they have? Three.

But Doerun has its share of crime too.  "Occasionally, no different than any other town," said Sam Smith of the Doerun Police Department.

And when crime does occur, the resources of a small police department can be stretched to the breaking point. So often they'll turn to outside agencies for help. More often than not, that means the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. "The GBI is a request agency," said Bryan Smith of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. "Any law enforcement agency or governmental agency can request the GBI."

Processing a crime scene properly can often make the difference between a crime being solved and one that makes its way to the cold case files. And doing that takes training. But for police departments like Doerun, that can lead to a problem.  "For small police forces like the one here in Doerun, today's training is invaluable, because sending officers away is impractical,"  said Sam Smith.

After all, one officer away from this department is one-third of the entire police force. Since officers from Doerun can't go to the training, the GBI has brought the training to them.  "We do as much training as we're asked to do with local agencies. It's actually something we enjoy doing."

Doerun's police officers learned the latest techniques on how to handle a crime scene.  "Crime scene preservation, crime scene security and basic crime scene evidence processing."

hey learned about getting fingerprints, the proper way to collect evidence and even how to take photographs. These officers learned about all these things in the police academy, but a little extra training is always a good thing.

"During the academy, they just spend a little bit of time with it whereas here today, we're able to get a little more in depth."

For the GBI, the chance to help local police departments is about more than just proper evidence collection. "We can develop those personal relationships so that when it does come time for those serious investigations, we're already ready to roll. We know who we're working with and they know us."

And with co-operation between local and state law enforcement agencies. Citizens in cities around the state can feel safer. 

Brian Smith says that some of the crime scene investigation training programs can take months and cost thousands of dollars to complete.

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